Combating Sickle cell disease

— The world’s leading genetic disease —

Lutte contre la drépanocytose
Sickle cell disease is a serious chronic genetic affliction that is believed to affect more than 300,000 infants in sub-Saharan Africa each year. These figures motivated Fondation Pierre Fabre to join the fight against this little publicised disease in 2006.

Sickle-cell disease, the world’s most widespread genetic disease – particularly in Africa –, affects the haemoglobin, resulting in very painful, acute attacks and potentially fatal complications, especially in children.

Approximately 50 million people worldwide are carriers of sickle cell trait and therefore likely to transmit this genetic haemoglobin disorder to their offspring. This disease, emblematic of the populations of Africa and its diaspora, limits the life expectancy of those afflicted if they do not receive proper treatment: it is thought that half the children die before the age of five.

As a “neglected” and under-diagnosed illness, sickle-cell disease is a global health concern that is nevertheless not addressed by major international aid programmes. The Fondation Pierre Fabre has been dedicated to fighting this disease for over a decade, with several clear objectives: improve screening and treatment, train healthcare professionals and encourage research, while serving as a powerful advocate for those with sickle-cell disease to help make the illness a global health priority.

The Foundation is focusing its efforts on neonatal screening for the disease, an uncommon practice in Africa, and facilitating access to proper care. Starting with the Research Centre to combat sickle cell disease (CRLD) founded in Bamako, it intends to broadly disseminate the necessary skills for this battle elsewhere on the continent and in the Caribbean region, and forge effective South-South collaborations.

Pr. Éléonore KAFANDO, Médecin biologiste et professeur d’hématologie à l’UFR des sciences de la santé de l’Université Joseph Ki Zerbo à Ouagadougou, au Burkina Faso.

The fight against sickle cell disease is gaining structure and momentum.”

Pr. Éléonore KAFANDO
Medical biologist and professor of haematology at the Health Sciences UFR (training and research unit) at Joseph Ki Zerbo University in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

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2020 Annual Report


The present pandemic has heightened the disparities in access to healthcare and the vulnerabilities in many countries in which the Fondation Pierre Fabre operates. The Foundation has chosen to become increasingly involved in countries in crisis and with the most disadvantaged populations. In this digital report, including videos and testimonials, we summarise the Foundation’s programmes and initiatives, as well as its governance and modus operandi, based on our partnerships and support given by local entities. Here in these pages, our allies in the field share their perceptions of existing needs and implemented solutions.

The Fondation Pierre Fabre introduces “E-Sickle Cell Disease”, a training programme for healthcare professionals


In parallel with World Sickle Cell Day, the Fondation Pierre Fabre announces the first training platform dedicated to sickle cell disease, “E-Drépanocytose” (“E-Sickle Cell Disease”). The programme is designed to help healthcare professionals recognise symptoms of, and screen for, this disease and provide regular monitoring of sickle cell patients. Through a network of partners in the field, the platform is being implemented in healthcare centres in French-speaking African countries.